Increasing community service participation has long been a goal in the United States. Some examples of how this goal has played out in national policy are President Kennedy’s creation of the Peace Corps, President Bush’s creation of the Points of Light Foundation, President Clinton’s creation of AmeriCorps, and Congress’ adoption of the National Education Goals, which include the objective that all students will be involved in activities that promote and demonstrate good citizenship and community service. In part, the push for volunteer service reflects the idea that the act of volunteering would be beneficial to those who participate and might counteract feelings of cynicism and apathy, as well as the notion that volunteers are needed if national problems are to be addressed with limited government resources. As in the National Education Goals, youth are often made a special focus because they are at a time in their lives when their attitudes are still being formed so volunteer service might have greater effect. In that context, volunteer service has also been seen as a tool for teachers to build interest in classwork and thus becomes an aspect of education reform.
National Center for Education, "Student Participation in Community Service Activity" (1997). School K-12. 21.